* Posts by Sgt_Oddball

2128 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Personal heaters

There's nothing more permanent than a temporary fix

Check your bits: What to do when Unix decides to make a hash of your bill printouts

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: The Cossie was the rs500 sierra cosworth

My sisters boyfriend had for the longest time a rally prepped mki Mexico with a 2ltr cortina engine swap.

It was loud, uncomfortable, difficult to move around in and I wish I got a chance to rag it at least once... The thing moved unlike anything else I'd seen or been in.

Boston Dynamics' Spot robot embarks on its latest thrilling adventure: Insurance!

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Needs to be pretty much waterproof

So what you're saying is... That the insurance robots will need their own insurance? Would the same insurance companies cover that or would there be a need for a second insurance company that deals with them?

And then would they need....

I'll stop. Down this path insurance indemnities lie.

California Governor signs bill protecting warehouse workers from unsafe quotas

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

So if they can do this for warehouse workers...

Would they start to do the same for food delivery riders? (you know, where electric bikes have become a requirement rather than a convenience because algorithms keep on adding more time pressures).

As the article states, workers aren't machines. Shame that the rules in the states make it so easy to swap them out like broken parts though.

Mobile mobile museum looks to chart the history of portable phones

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Wait a minute...

Did he mean the Samsung Serene or the Bang & Olufsen phone?

I did have a friend who had one for the bragging rights but he's since moved to Canada so I've no idea if he still has it somewhere.

Apple's M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Not bought a Macbook

The thing is.... The 2019 last Intel Macbook Pro also suffered from issues (specifically having a too short monitor ribbon cable) so you'd think they would trying to avoid repeats of that?

(For the record, I've got one, already had the screen replaced once under warranty - it's a company machine so I'm not hugely invested in Apple. It was a surprise though as the thing has barely moved since I got it, just open and closed once a day)

Boffins say Martian colonists could pee in buckets, give blood if they want shelter

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Piss-Crete

Correct save for a small minor detail.

I made no mention of London. Unless its somehow moved to the North East Coast. As for hauling coal...

Who the hell would be mad enough to sell coal to Newcastle?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Easier, faster, much more inexpensive answer.

The thing about that idea is that the tanks tend to be very strong in a very linear direction. Landing the things on Mars intact would be possible (see SpaceX for details) but getting it into a usable orientation would be somewhat more challenging without alot of specialist equipment to hand to lay them down without having them crush like a soggy paper straw.

Also once they have landed they'll need a huge amount of work to turn them into something usable (think taking the pumps off, the ends maybe, possibly adding a window or two).

You'd be far better served landing some inflatable, airtight tents and just letting the rocket bodies crash so they can be recycled into something more practical rather than using them insitu.

Now, if you just left them in orbit... That's a different and more practical measure since an orbiting station would pretty much be a must.

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Piss-Crete

The Peak Alum works (near Ravenscar in North Yorkshire) used to import the stuff in bulk from Newcastle pubs and other large cities on the North East Coast....

They used to use it by the barrel for making dye fixes.

The unfortunate thing is that no-one wants to ship empty barrels back to those cities. They did however make butter locally, so that was shipped back in lieu of being empty. The barrels were coated inside with salt then shipped off... Rinse and repeat.

Pretty sure they weren't the only Alum works doing this and it goes someway to explain why you see both salted and unsalted butter these days...


US Air Force puts Godzilla in charge of autonomous warfare effort with Project Kaiju

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

I've seen/read enough warnings on this

"How about a nice game of chess?"

Tech widens the educational divide. And I should know – I'm a teacher in a pandemic

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Despite being taught to touch type...

Wow... And I thought I came from a deprived town (went to two different secondary schools, both with good metal bashing/woodworking shops, music rooms, the electronics lab was in the second of the two).

All public schools, no private nonsense. The first seemed happy to just label me as thick because of dyslexia but the second one gave me a shot at the top classes, the result? I only dropped from the first to second class in English lit/lang.

Maybe then we're asking the wrong question of if tech can improve things but more we should be asking how we can give all an equal crack at education?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Despite being taught to touch type...

At the age of 7 (local authority experiment for heavily dyslexic kids) I was always a hands on kind of child.

As such being given all work via a laptop at first would have been fascinating but after the first week or two I'd want to be back playing with the toys the school had. I mean think about it, does everyone's home have a science lab, a music room (soundproofed so your Dad working shifts isn't woken up again, ratty as hell), a Design and Tech rooms with etch tanks, soldering irons and metal workshops?

Not everyone learns by sitting still. Some of us do so much better by doing, not reading.

Technology has the potential to close the education divide. Key word: Potential

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Quieter kids can speak up in chat,

In my household we're lucky enough to have a few spare laptops for the kids to work on but whilst the eldest got on well with it. The youngest struggled, mainly because neither myself or my wife was constantly available to help.

Having willing parents is fine, but attempting to have the kids engaged and doing classwork over the daytime instead of the evening was a huge struggle.

This debate doesn't take into account that some parents still worked over Lockdown which made supervision of the kids difficult to put it mildly (my daily average for meetings is 4+ hours a day. The wife wasn't even in the house since she's a dentist).

Thankfully we were lucky enough to have keyworker status for my wife and after explaining my own work situation the school did take them in when allowed. I'm also aware not everyone had this available to them.

It does however make for an interesting point, has there been any research yet over which has benefitted children the most? Being in school, being at home with both parents working or having one or two parents furloughed? Did access to tech change any of that?

Hey – how did you get in here? Number one app security weakness of 2021 was borked access control, says OWASP

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: with other common weaknesses...

It's also good to keep track of new threats as they occur. Whilst for the most part there's not that much to change year on year but as time goes on things change.

Even this years list has 3 new listings. These are worth paying attention to because arrogance that you're secured against last year's list does not mean you're covered for this year's too.

Remember, those seeking to do bad things have to be right once. It's a devs responsibility to never let them be right (it's also on management to ensure that checks and balances are in place and occur regularly as no dev should be an island)

The magic TUPE roundabout: Council, Wipro, Northgate all deny employing Unix admins in outsourcing muddle

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Outsourcing...

It's a council gig. Give it 5 years of a good and proper shitshow before it all comes back in-house for more than it would have cost to keep the status quo.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards... commence

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Oh that's a classic

"That shithead!"

"I think you mean chairperson."

"No, I mean shithead."

"I think you mean chairperson."

"NO, I MEA- oh, I see what you're doing."

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

It always amazed me...

Why laptops with grayscale LCD had a dimming slider. Always felt like a pointless thing since no-one in their right mind would turn it down unless they were some kind of psychopath who liked ghostly text on the screen.

Though I do miss the old early 90's laptop keyboards. They always felt so solid to work on.

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Wire-Wrap Gun?

I always thought tradition dictated that you started the job with mechanical aid and finished it by hand?

Real world not giving you enough anxiety? Try being hunted down by the perfect organism in Alien: Isolation

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

That reminds me...

It's been on my 'to finish' list for far too long.

I have however upgraded to a better graphics, sound and monitor since I last tried. And now have a small, claustrophobic room with my pc set up in...

I might have to find some time when the wife and kids are elsewhere and try again (I do hope it supports ultrawide... And the new headphones should help pick out the slightest of sounds now).

UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner grills Hikvision on China human rights abuses

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: To be fair though...

Tesla cars phone home though. Cisco routers phoned the NSA... Everything we own these days is telling tails to someone.

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

I too...

Have a HIK vision system at home (came with the house).

I can route traffic to a cloud based login system through HIK's servers (Europe based in my instance) or through a firewall hole (via changed ports, redirected, encrypted traffic etc) and I've not seen any traffic going places it shouldn't when I've listened to what it's upto.

The irony of sorts is the previous owner worked for EDF on nuclear reactor design so the sort to have sensitive stuff and if trusted it, I don't think I've got too much to worry about. (it's also on multiple occasions made local oiks nope away from the end of the drive after they spotted the cameras, that and the large gravel with a nice 'crunch' sound with each step).

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

To be fair though...

Once equipment is in the hands of users how much control a business has over its use is somewhat limited.

I mean if we're going to take this stance over Chinese CCTV cameras, should the same scrutiny be offered on British bombs sold overseas? Maybe Colt small arms in the US should be implicated if some PMC commits a war crime? How about pressing Intel/AMD to make steps to stop hackers using their CPU's? How about blaming car manufacturers for drink driving?

It's the same ignorance that somehow thinks we can use technology wrongly to think of the children (as opposed to honest police work...).

Trust Facebook to find a way to make video conferencing more miserable and tedious

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: VR meetings with an EULA and TOS

Thankfully not a hint of "mindshare"....

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

I once had to do something similar in a Skoda...

Nose to tail traffic because there's nothing like having a busy A road go from dual carriageway to single and back again... And the engine overheating light comes on. Slow enough not to cool the engine, fast enough that I couldn't stop the engine.

Cue turning the heating on full blow - high heat. Did the trick in saving the engine but cooked the occupants somewhat.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Holy Progress

I was always more partial to mace...

Green hydrogen 'transitioning from a shed-based industry' says researcher as the UK hedges its H2 strategy

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Might be worse than burning coal

Nah Nuclear fusion is easy so long as you stage it right... Doing something useful with it like running an electric oven (instead of say turning it to a shadow of meal) that's the hard part.

Nuclear icon because boom.

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Bah. I've done more.

Being a pedant you can double that number to 128 threads, since it's got 2 threads to play with per core.

It'd also be interesting to see how much further they could take it if they managed to get upto the ram limit of 16TB over both chips...

A new island has popped up off the coast of Japan thanks to an underwater volcano

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Isn't it fresh rock though?

Thus somewhat pointy....

C# would therefore be more apt.

Mines the one with life jacket... I'll see myself out.

Perhaps regretting those Instagram, WhatsApp acquisitions, UK watchdog suggests Facebook offloads GIF haven Giphy

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Giraffe Interchange Format

Almost as if no-one has ever mispronounced anything ever and the mispronunciation become common parlance...

Unlike Nike, Caesar, Porsche, Dacia, Huawei, Givenchy, Nutella...

You get the idea. Anyways. I'll continue to pronounce it GIF...........

Re-volting: AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization undone by electrical attack

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Would it just not..

Be cheaper/easier at scale/convenient to just include those chips in the motherboard building process?

Especially since it removed the need to physically access the device, compromise an admin or otherwise have a fleshy involved at the thin end of wedge/hack?

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Icarus

Surely Daedalus would be better? Just beware of labyrinths, smart arse nephews and mocking partridges...

NASA comes up empty on Perseverance rover's first Mars sample drilling attempt

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: I just don't get it.

Whilst a much lorded ideal, do you honestly think the earth will ever be fixed?

If so, then when will it be fixed?

Spending on projects like these as wasteful as it might first appear, can often bring in a large number of secondary benefits to industry, economies and yes, even the environment (if millions was not spent on various launch vehicles then things like weather satellites, atmospheric monitoring satellites, observation satellites would not exist).

Sometimes it more than worthwhile to do these things because the benefits can be numerous and immeasurable. Not to mention, satisfying our curiosity.

South Korea to test grenade-launching drones

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: The second one is of more interest to me....

You can run a cable to her but I don't see how that'll help?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

The second one is of more interest to me....

Think of the hijinks that could ensue using a drone mounted up with a speaker... Imagine a whole swarm of them (some really dinky ones holding the tweeters and some bigger drones for the sub-woofers) at an outdoor festival or rave party.

It'd be quite something to have a speaker array airborne above a crowd.

Alternatively, having a lens speaker to whisper into peoples ears from a distance if only to troll them. No end to the fun*!

* until the batteries run out, natch.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

How the hell...

Does this AI figure out the users 'intent' ? I mean yes some content is obviously vile and should be treated as such but what of a user taking a photo on a beach with a naked toddler running off, refusing to be restrained by a 'bathing suit' happens to be in the background? Or if the kids are being cute in the bath so you take a family pic? What of having a group of children dancing in the back of a camper van at a communal meet up and one of them decides his clothes aren't for him (I dare not guess the reasons why)?

As always with these things I suspect nuance will be lost (probably because the devs are looking for it on a map of France) </sarcasm>

Breaking Bad or just a bad breakpoint? That feeling when your predecessor is BASIC

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

This was...

The only reason I ever learned to code ASP classic after getting asked by a local company to fix a badly borked site.

Tons of near identical code on multiple pages and not a single common functions or sub between the lot of them (that alone removed about 2/3rds of the errors).

Otherwise, having a team of multiple other devs that I work with these days does mean that we communicate and give eyeballs on each others work to stop such giant acts of stupidity. Pretty sure I couldn't go back to working with only one other dev any more.

Google hits undo on Chrome browser alert change that broke websites, web apps

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

So what of...

Card payment services? Alot of them use an embedded iFrame to offload liability within the PCI-DSS compliance framework. Think of a large company with many different brands taking payments, do you a) Certify each and every site to the top PCI-DSS level 1 merchant compliance with all the security checks that entails, b) Create a separate entity to handle all payments for all sites and use an iFrame to handle the payment (thus meaning no money is put through each individual site but only the payment service, and only needs one site to be fully scrutinised). Or c) Hand it over to a 3rd party provider like PayPal for example... again via an iFrame.

Ever wondered how much data web giants generate? Singaporean super-app Grab says 40TB a day

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Well named

Now amended to 40TB a day which makes a big difference to the headline.

Though doesn't feel that big to me... Considering the small distie I used to work for could push around 100GB a day when price lists changed and the API got hammered about 10 years ago so 40TB for 1000x + customers/users seems quite reasonable.

Undebug my heart: Using Cisco's IOS to take down capitalism – accidentally

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: "he had clearly accidentally fired off every possible debug command at once"

You've never had the fun of tinkering with IOS have you?

It wouldn't surprise me at all if it didn't bother listening to the commands lovingly mashed into either the SSH command or if they're more locked down via a RS-232 to ethernet adapter and minicom software. Janky does not come close.

It's not quite as rage inducing as handling HP's iLO cli but close.

On this most auspicious of days, we ask: How many sysadmins does it take to change a lightbulb?

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge


At least its not a LARP...

BOFH: They say you either love it or you hate it. We can confirm you're going to hate it

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge





On the original note, I suspect we'll all be reminded of why Simon is 'From Hell' and so will Jim. Possibly with the aid of a cattle prod... Or the lift shaft and lift... A slim Jim?

Mines the one with book of command line jokes.

Intel scoops out five flavours of Ice Lake Xeons for workstations

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

4TB of ram?

The mind truly boggles over how many chrome windows could be open for remote users and still have ram left with that sort of ram.

On the flipside, do we have databases that could utilise that much ram?

But yes, the point about Thread ripper and Epyc above still count.

The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Abandonware

I feel like I should see if I can find a rack mount since I've got space in the basement wooden rack for more servers...

Bring it out every now and again and try to do something even remotely useful with it.

*checks eBay.....*

On second thoughts let's not. Especially since there's only blade servers available for sane money. The only one I could get home and run is £2,400 (free shipping, bonus!) so sod that for a game of soldiers.

International Space Station stabilizes after just-docked Russian module suddenly fires thrusters

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

You have to wonder...

If someone poked Das Blinkenliten mit der fingerpoken?

We can't believe people use browsers to manage their passwords, says maker of password management tools

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: Mixed model

Ditto, if its something that can cost me money then I don't save it to browser. If it's something with personal info that isn't important then I use slightly off data (think changing a year, being one street over or a non-existent number, wrong phone number) and then save password to browser.

That said i do have a cypher book, written in fountain pen with my left hand whilst drunk for certain passwords on infrequently visited sites. I wonder if I should consider burning... Especially since even I can't make out what I attempted to write.

Bill for HMS Vanity Gin Palace swells by £50m in two months

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

So fully expect this ship in a bottle

To have its costs well north of £500 million, do a couple of tours then get flogged for less than £100 million because of some catastrophic engineering oversight... Or it crashes into a sandbank.

Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

It's always trusted...

Until it inevitably isn't.

Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: The Usual Suspects

You need to press and fiddle with it in time to music?

I have no idea what the people of Wetwang would make of that...

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

Re: The engineer's careers

Plus 1

(el reg won't allow me to put +1)

Impromptu game of Robot Wars sparks fire in warehouse at UK e-tailer Ocado

Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

If its a system that's been running...

Just fine for any length of time without issue then I'd put good money on it being caused by poor maintenance.

Think a nut on two of them where the wheels are being loose enough to contact, knocking one of them enough to hit another then topple over.

Either that or something started to escape one of the baskets removing clearance.

Any which way, it wasn't catastrophic and seems to have been handled well.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021